USVI Nonprofit Hits 3.4 Million Aluminum Cans Recycled & 78,500 lbs of Ocean-Bound Plastics with Latest Shipment

St. John, USVI – May 9, 2024 – With a total of more than 3.4 million aluminum cans and 78.5K lbs. of captured ocean-bound plastic crushed and baled since inception, Island Green Living loaded up a 40 foot container donated by Tropical Shipping with the latest batch last week. Included were 251,163 cans and 8,707 lbs of plastic. The pallets are on their way to recycling partner PADNOS, where these items will be recycled and find a new lease on life.

Some of the nonprofit’s key supporters gathered to witness the shipment firsthand, including members of the Sigma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, led by Julice Holder. In fact, Sigma Theta Omega is often joined by Julice’s husband, mom, and kids when they help sort and crush.

Several important financial supporters were also on hand, including Ralph Solomon and Myrah Keating Smith II, Joy Stillman, and Haley Burt representing Canopy Management. They were joined by Senator Milton E. Potter, and board members Donald Schnell, Akhil Deshwal and Dawn Henry, along with Board President Harith Wickrema and Executive Director Kelly McKinney.

“With the increased volume of plastic we are collecting and sorting, it has become a highly labor-intensive operation, especially when residents include items like glass and cardboard, which we don’t have the capacity to collect at this point, and other trash,” explained Wickrema. “Please only deposit #1, 2 and 5 plastics and aluminum cans. As a first step however, we encourage people to RETHINK and minimize consumption of plastics and other disposable items. Once these items are part of the waste stream however, recycling is the way to go. We are a volunteer organization existing on charitable donations; hence any support is welcome and can be made via Island Green’s website.”

“Our recycling team, Akeino Williams, John Baker and CJ Scatliffe, led by Jay Bowers, works very hard with passion to keep our beaches, roadsides and landfill free of toxic plastic,” added McKinney. “This is a charity operation, managed independently from the municipality. However as a united front, with the financial support and collaboration of the community, we can work towards building a climate resistant community and preserving our lands and oceans, free from debris.”

Island Green Living picks up recyclables at three popular trash collection sites on St. John with their dedicated truck. The public can conveniently deposit their RINSED recyclable #1, 2 & 5 plastics and aluminum cans in Island Green’s specially marked receptacles. The locations are as follows:

Cruz Bay: Main VIWMA site across from EC Gas Station & Alfredo’s Landscaping

Gifft Hill Road: VIWMA site just past Gifft Hill School

Coral Bay: Main VIWMA site across from Love City Mini Mart

Additionally the community can drop off at Island Green Living’s ReSource Depot located behind VITEMA on Gifft Hill Road just off Centerline and at the bin at Caneel Bay Fuel Dock in Cruz Bay.

Most commonly used plastics have a resin code listed somewhere on the material, typically on the bottom. Island Green Living can accept #1, 2 and 5 plastics, which include items such as water & soda bottles, some food containers, peanut butter jars, milk jugs, shampoo & detergent bottles, yogurt containers, etc. Caps can be recycled but should be removed from containers. Styrofoam and items like plastic utensils, bags, etc. CANNOT be accepted.

Celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year, Island Green Living has an esteemed history of sustainable programming and conservation in the USVI. The organization’s ReSource Depot thrift shop has kept nearly one million pounds of building and other materials out of landfills. The nonprofit has worked closely on banning plastic bags, straws and toxic sunscreen, “Ban the Burn” of vegetative debris and other environmental legislation as well as issues such as food security and education.

Island Green Living Association is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org.

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